Bluebottle Crew Stories

← back to ALL BOOKS

The Dragon ‘Bluebottle’ – Prince Philip’s ‘Royal Yacht’

The Royal Dragon Bluebottle has caught the attention of author David Goodday, but coming from an unusual angle. Much has already been written about the Dragon class yacht and her exploits but very little is available on her crew members, and the people behind the scenes. The author is particularly interested in Clive David Smith who was hired at the age of just eighteen, to race and maintain the Royal yacht. Despite being the youngest member of the group Clive was chosen to take responsibility for the boat, train amateur crews and keep the yacht in racing trim.

“I would be interested to hear stories from any of your readers about him or indeed the yacht” says Dave.

“I tend to write as a hobby. I particularly enjoy writing about history which quite often involves writing about people. Their stories, can often capture brief moments in time that commemorate their achievements. They become a personal record, a biography, something that can be read and remembered by future generations.”

Dave strongly believes that everyone has a story to tell, not just the rich and famous.

A 1953 press photo with the Duke of Edinburgh at the Helm of Bluebottle and Clive Smith on the foredeck

Bluebottle – The Royal Yacht

Drawn by Johan Anker in 1929 the Dragon became an Olympic Class in 1948, a status it retained until 1972, and well over 1000 yachts have been built. Bluebottle was one of four Dragons built in 1947 by Camper & Nicholson’s yard in Gosport and she was a wedding present to the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Elizabeth from members of the Island Sailing Club in Cowes.
During her racing years Bluebottle sailed in many regattas throughout the United Kingdom and toured throughout several countries including France, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Italy and Canada. Famously in Melbourne, Australia she won a bronze medal in the 1956 Olympic Games.

More on Bluebottle can be found here.

Send in your story

“I would love to hear from anyone who has personal stories to tell about the yacht and her crew during her active racing years. Photographs would, of course, be an added bonus, providing they’re not subject to copyright. You never know, some of your stories and pictures may even end up in my book.” David Goodday

You can write to [email protected] and we’ll pass your message right on. Thanks in advance!


On seeing the article:


Brilliant couldn’t of written better myself.

Thanks for the opportunity to post this on your site, fingers crossed and I will keep you updated about the book. BB was recently completely refurbished in Cowes and was due to be exhibited this year at the Edinburgh Cup which was cancelled due to covid-19.



Yachts for Sale

Recently updated...

Midsummer - Trials and tribulations
The schooner Midsummer nearing completion of her restoration with work ongoing in...
Start of the Gaff rigged class, Regates Royales, 2023 @James Robinson Taylor
Classic Yacht Regattas 2024
2023-2024 International Classic Yacht Regattas Australia And New Zealand 4th –...
Charles Nicholson and Two Very Important Ladies
In July 1931 Mme. Virginie Heriot (owner of the three masted schooner Ailèe of...
Midshipman Hornblower
Mr Midshipman Hornblower
1793, the eve of the Napoleonic Wars, and Midshipman Horatio Hornblower receives...

Write an Article

Covering news on classic yachting worldwide is a tall ask and with your input Classic Yacht Info can expose stories from your own back yard.

We are keen to hear about everything from local regattas and classic events to a local restoration or yachting adventure. Pictures are welcome and ideal for making the article more engaging.

With a site that has been created with the assistance of an international group of classic yacht enthusiasts we value your input and with your help we strive to make CYI more up-to-date and more informative than ever.

Please register and get in touch if you would like to contribute.